Carlita Smith: Inclusivity in the Beauty Industry as a Black Woman in Business

Dallas, Texas

In a world where representation and inclusivity are crucial, beauty industry veteran Carlita Smith stands as a beacon of empowerment. As a cosmetologist and entrepreneur, she has made a significant impact in her industry with her brand Carlita Cosmetics. She is driven to break down barriers in the industry and create a platform of inclusivity for all. As we delve deeper into her journey, challenges and triumphs, we celebrate her remarkable achievements as a Black woman in business.

Natalie Telfer of Cat & Nat encourages mothers to foster healthy relationships with food & their bodies

Toronto, Ontario

Natalie Telfer aims to be honest and helpful to women as a part of the Cat & Nat duo. Nat and her best friend, Catherine Belknap, created Cat & Nat to discuss truths about motherhood through their popular podcast and videos. Since the beginning, their primary goal has remained unchanged, which is to create an environment of joy and togetherness among women and mothers through laughter. Knowing firsthand the loneliness that motherhood can bring, they made it their mission to unite mothers by first organizing dinner parties and events. Through the success of their events among Toronto mothers Cat & Nat broke into the online world, where they were able to connect with and support moms everywhere. Together they have built a thriving social media empire and a rapidly expanding community of like-minded moms.

Filmmaker JR Michael Combats Human Trafficking & Historical Indigenous Trauma

With each project he undertakes JR Michael‘s passion burns brighter, igniting hope and illuminating the path toward a better future. His dedication to raising awareness about the global human trafficking crisis, indigenous rights and other vital issues reflects a deep compassion for humanity. As an independent actor and filmmaker, his work is fuelled by passion and a desire to make a difference in the world through every project he takes on. He seeks to bring forth fresh ideas and perspectives, tackling important issues of the human spirit and societal relevance.

Haitian Designer Santia McKoy Is Raising Awareness of the Haiti Crisis

Ocoee, Florida

Santia McKoy is using her artistry to show her support of the Haitian revolution and the protection of its people. Her gesture of solidarity has been directed at a cause close to her heart and home that reaches beyond borders. Santia has designed this symbolic homage to her homeland in distress, which speaks of the unity between the everyday men and women who are fighting for their freedom from oppression. "As a Haitian designer who is constantly inspired by my country, I felt compelled to take the initiative to make something powerful out of this horrific situation."

‘Scholartist’ Hayden Rivas Advocates for Dancer Inclusivity

Los Angeles, California

Hayden Rivas is a testament to not let any obstacles stop you from pursuing your aspiration of a career, studies or quest for knowledge. His skillset goes far beyond the art of movement as he seeks to learn as much as possible to provide a valuable voice and presence in the industry. He aims to break down barriers and pave the way for more diverse representation. Hayden's motivation stems from the lack of diversity he saw in the industry growing up.

La vie en rose: Santia McKoy is spreading love through her passion for fashion

Ocoee, Florida

S & M Custom Design is a family owned, high-end custom fashion house. Valentine's Day for designer Santia McKoy is a celebration of love for her family and the eleventh anniversary with her husband Adrian. It is a day they believe is best celebrated with their three daughters, family and close friends. A special kind of love has inspired her new collection; that deep, unconditional love of a mother. Named after her youngest daughter Isabella, The Bella Collection takes inspiration from Isabella's vibrant spirit and carefree attitude. The collection is made up of six incredibly designed dresses that have taken approximately three months to finish from design to completion. It will be released on the 28th of May this year.

Jason Innocent is creating sociopolitical conversation through art

Brooklyn, New York

Jason Innocent is a conceptual artist who has successfully used various mediums to evoke emotion and inspire debate. His ability to address challenging issues through his personal lens gives his work a raw honesty. Jason brings freedom to his art in the creative process representing subject matter that evokes a sense of innocence through his use of two-dimensional, stick-like figures, flat-planed narrative resembling a child’s take on visualizing the world. This aesthetic is cleverly juxtaposed with the mature content of his visual imagery. Jason's work is designed to spark a conversation and challenge social constructs.

Dreams Don’t Expire: The Petrichor film star Olga Korsak

Toronto, Ontaria

Olga Korsak is a Canadian actress, former Olympic figure skater and singer/songwriter. Olga co-wrote, produced and starred in the award-winning horror drama Unmasking, a film to support mental health awareness. She has also appeared in the Amazon original series American Gods. Her most poignant role is in Junga Song's The Petrichor where art imitates life through her performance as a retired figure skater who decides to pursue her dreams again. Written, directed and produced by women, The Petrichor is not just another movie about overcoming adversity. It successfully encapsulates the raw pain and self-determination required to move from a place of weakness to one of strength. It is a poignant reminder that dreams can be brought to life at any age and obstacles can be conquered through inner strength.

Farm-to-Table: Urban Press Winery & Restaurant Is a Taste of Italy in California

Burbank, California

There is a hidden gem glistening in downtown Burbank. Located in the heart of the media capital of the world is a discovered treasure. Urban Press Winery & Restaurant (UPWR) has the distinction of being the only Los Angeles area winery and fine dining establishment that crafts its own wine from Sonoma. Once you step inside, you will feel as if you have been transported to a bustling trendy spot in Italy. It is a welcome respite from the buzz of Burbank to enjoy Sonoma wine and Italian gourmet in a friendly setting.

Designer Santia McKoy Honors Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Ocoee, Florida

Uniting diversity through creativity is exactly what award-winning Haitian fashion designer Santia McKoy achieves through her designs. Just like the characters of Black Panther, Santia learned to be her own hero and became a warrior amid the storms she faced. Much of the African American story is laced within their past and what they have gone through; just as the threads in Santia’s designs tell a story. Black Panther speaks to their hardships and struggles, their endurance and their hunger to succeed and be their own hero's.

Helecia ‘SKG’ Choyce: Voices For The Voiceless Who Lost Their Life To Gun Violence

Los Angeles, California

The late, great Maya Angelou said, "Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning." As humans, we need emotion and passion to convey our truths so that our messages get adequately expressed. In a time where gun violence and war constantly take center stage, we need voices to carry palpable realities. Who better to do that than people who have experienced loss. These acts of violence plague the people of the world and, most importantly, the innocent children who are stripped of life far too soon in such a devastating manner. If there was a time to use your voice to shout 'no more' from the rooftops, it is now.  During these trying times, one of the most powerful tools we have is our voices. Helecia "SKG" Choyce is utilizing her voice and platform and giving back to the people who've lost loved ones.